Wines news of France XXXIII !!

Well, we are now in Fall season , and October 2022 , so we are all ready for the cold weather indeed. Anyway, always good to bring the best of Wine news of France. First ,thanks to all my readers and/or followers! Oh yeah, the wines of France are just super simply awesome and a great tradition. Often imitated, some time equaled ,but never surpass! Let me give some news shall we; hope you enjoy it as I.

I have to start here, this is a memorable house of many good times visiting and drinking as well as getting to know Mr Gagey and his crew, See my post on Jadot to know more about my story. Changing of the guards of course, but will be missed, After 31 years at the head of Louis Jadot, Pierre-Henri Gagey, an emblematic figure of Burgundy, will be replaced at the head of the house by Thomas Seiter, former general manager of neighboring Bouchard Père et Fils, recently bought by François Pinault. . Located in Beaune, the Louis Jadot house is one of the historical jewels of the Burgundy wine region, recognizable by its stripped light yellow labels and which reveal a sculpted head of Bacchus, the emblem of the house. The vines extend over more than 200 ha – including more than 100 ha in Côte-d’Or with many wines and remarkable vineyards in grand cru, premier cru and village appellation. Thomas Seiter. Trained at the very prestigious American University of Berkeley and graduated in France from INSEEC, Thomas Seiter has held the position of Managing Director of William Fèvre since 2018, but above all of the other major Beaune house: Bouchard Père et Fils which has just recently been acquired by the Pinault family. Mr Gagey was President of the BIVB, had himself taken over from his father, André. But the Gageys did not completely leave the ship since Thomas Seiter would be assisted by Thibault , the son of Pierre-Henry Gagey , who was entrusted with the general management of the house. Official webpage:

Languedoc is the leading wine region in France, with a third of the areas planted with vines, it is rarer to know that the Protected Designation of Origin (AOP) Languedoc, which celebrates its 15 anniversary this year, represents a third of the volumes sold, all appellations in the region combined. A success driven in particular by the rosés which now represent the bulk of production, far ahead of the reds and whites. Rosé already accounted for 25% of production. The United States is the leading market for the Languedoc appellation and absorbs 30% of exports, driven by rosés. this market has recorded uninterrupted growth, far ahead of China (15 to 17% of exports), Canada and Belgium at 10%, and a trio around 5 to 7% made up of the United Kingdom, Germany and Switzerland , The Languedoc appellation is therefore one of the top 10 appellations with the most presence among wine merchants. More info on Languedoc :

As every year since 1985, the arrival of Beaujolais Nouveau will take place in mid-November: this year we will have to wait until Thursday, November 17, 2022 to discover the 2022 vintage of the famous primeur wine. Indeed, for more than 35 years, the new Beaujolais wines of the year have been available from the third Thursday of November, Since the creation of Beaujolais Nouveau in 1951, the release date of these early wines varies from year to year. The date of November 15 was the official date until 1967, but this caused problems at the administrative level. Indeed, it was not easy for the winegrowers to declare their bottles in time when the 15th of the month fell on a Saturday or a Sunday… This is why in 1985, the Beaujolais Nouveaux event was officially set for the 3rd Thursday in November. This wine is produced throughout the Beaujolais and Beaujolais-Villages appellations, in an area that covers a good part of the Saône plain up to the Lyon mountains. Beaujolais Nouveau is mainly made from the Gamay Noir grape variety. And although Beaujolais Nouveau is not unanimous, it still represents a third of the total production of Beaujolais, or about 55 million bottles per year. Taste tradition here ! Official webpage :

In Pauillac, in the heart of the Médoc, there is activity in the cellars of Château d’Armailhac. In Pauillac, after its châteaux Mouton Rothschild and Clerc Milon, the Rothschild family is renovating d’Armailhac. Brand new cellars receive the harvest. The tractors bring the crates of grapes cut by a hundred pickers, which will be poured onto belts where teams will remove the leaves and other petioles. And all will be on new barrels and fermentation chambers ! Webpage :

Michel Janas his small vineyard which has almost everything of a big one is located in the north of Finistère dept 29 in Carantec (see posts) of my lovely region of Bretagne, One of the oldest productions is in Quimper, it is the hillside of Braden. With its 17 grape varieties, there is mainly white wine. In Carantec, the average annual temperature is around 12°C, with 788 mm of precipitation. Either ,one degree less than in Saint-Emilion (Gironde 33) but… 200 mm more rain. The precious liquid has since rested in two small wooden barrels, at the back of the Breton property. One of them already bears the future name of the wine: “Kermen”, inspired by the locality where it grows. but the 2022 vintage should be very good. See you in 2023 for the first tasting. The vineyard with a great view of the sea and Saint Pol de Léon, The Wines of Brittany per se are coming back !! Stay tune for more news later !!!

The Château de Portets located in an arm of the Garonne river 20 minutes south of Bordeaux or the Graves. Double rarity, the Château de Portets has its own port. You will be able to come by boat to visit the estate. Its origin dates back to the time of the Romans who settled there and developed the port of Portets that we know today. Napoleon even stopped there before arriving in Bordeaux in 1808. Occupied by the Nazis during WWII, the estate was left almost abandoned. Today it is Marie-Hélène Yung-Théron who manages the estate with radiant dynamism throughout the appellation. There is even a visit with an investigator’s kit to discover the history of the castle and also a wine pairing and a cuisine back from the market. Finally, let’s not forget the main thing: the wines of the castle! Webpage :

She is, also, involved with this webpage all about wines:

As you walk along the Vienne river, you will cross vineyards that François Rabelais already mentioned in his writings. At the heart of this Loire vineyard still inhabited by the soul of the humanist, you will come across Cravant-les-Coteaux, a small village where Philippe Alliet’s estate is hidden. After inheriting from his grandfather in 1978, Philippe Alliet and his wife Claude cultivated, and still cultivate, 18 hectares of vines with increasing rigor. It was after ten years of hard work in the shadows that their efforts were rewarded: the wines stood out for their innovative style, denser and darker than that of their neighbours. Its vines are pruned severely and harvested by hand. A serious work necessary for the cultivation of these grape varieties which offer low yields of irreproachable quality. We have to admit that the plants benefit from ideal conditions: they evolve on clay, limestone and silica soils on hillsides facing due south. The 225 liter barrels have been replaced by 500 liter barrels ; a judicious choice that avoids over-marking the wine with woody notes. With this in mind, the share of new wood has also been revised downwards, and after these aging periods of 11 to 20 months, it is time to taste these famous cuvées, produced in small quantities (70,000 bottles per year). The wines currently on sale are: Chinon Philippe Alliet 2020, This introduction to the estate’s range presents a particularly charming profile of the Loire Cabernet-Franc. The Chinon L’Huisserie Philippe Alliet (2016, 2018, 2019), A dense and suave wine, with a very nice roundness in the mouth, delicious at any age, both in its early youth and after 10 years of cellaring. And the Chinon Vieilles Vignes Philippe Alliet (2018, 2019), A great wine from Chinon, concentrated, fresh and delicious, with silky tannins. Crunchy and crunchy, especially with good red meat! More info here :

A bit of education as usual from me on these posts, to unmistified the wine for you, In the world of wine, sulphites and sulphur dioxide have become a hot topic. Result: we are faced with discussions leaving all rationality to rush into free combat. Our enlightment to avoid shortcuts. First, let’s take a very common misunderstanding off the map: sulphites and sulphur dioxide are not to be confused with sulphur. They are fundamentally different things. Sulphur, element 16 on the periodic table, is symbolized by the letter S. It’s yellow, it’s insoluble, it smells like rotten eggs when burned, and most importantly: it’s never used for cooking. Winemaking, The sulfur dioxide molecule, symbolized by SO2, is actually sulfur combined with two oxygen atoms. To say this changes everything is an understatement. If in its pure state, it remains anything but innocuous for health, it has been used since ancient Rome in low concentrations as an antioxidant, antiseptic and preservative in winemaking and food. Once in contact with food or wine, SO2 combines and transforms into sulphites, thus deploying its protective qualities. It is he who guarantees that the wine can travel to your home without being damaged, and like crossing the decades while keeping its fabulous potential for aromatic expression and terroir, Besides wine, sulfites can be found in a very long list of foods: dried fruits, sausage, fruit juices, vinegar, jams and even cut up salad bags. Without being aware of it, we therefore consume it regularly. In France, an average of 20 mg per day is estimated. But today, thanks in particular to the movement of natural wine and the progress of knowledge in viticulture and winemaking, good winegrowers only protect their wines more than is necessary, in order to guarantee that the wine is all beautiful and without defects. Of course, the risk of allergy continues to exist, but it is very likely that it will be discovered in your diet long before you are old enough to consume wine , Conclusion: between sulphites and humans, we are in reality in the face of a great love story, which has lasted since Roman times. Let’s toast to this extraordinary longevity, and to the fabulous diversity of interpretations demonstrated by winegrowers for several millennia, with or without the addition of SO2. Indeed In Vino Veritas !

And we have face this dilemma one time or another in our lives, when should you open the bottle of red wine? The timing of opening a bottle of red wine can change its taste completely. First of all, you have to make sure that the bottle of red wine you are about to taste is at the right temperature. It can fluctuate between 13 and 18 degrees depending on the bottle. If it is a young and rather full-bodied red wine, you can also decant it (i.e. pour it into a carafe to calm it down). To be sure, do not hesitate to uncork your bottle and taste the wine about one or two hours before at the most. Unlike decanting, decanting will be done at the last moment. This serves to separate the wine from the solid deposits present in the bottle. In summary, to know whether to open a bottle of red wine in advance or at the last moment, you just need to know the profile of your wine, The choice of a bottle of red wine depends above all on your budget, your tastes and your experience in wine tasting When choosing one of your first bottles of red wine, you must also take into account the food and wine pairings, Indeed read the label ,know your winemaker and the rest is glorious tasting !!

Something foodie we like and do at home a lot on tastings is to have cold cuts, charcuterie par excellence à la Française, To accompany ham, chorizo or Iberian Pata Negra, rather white wine or red wine? With white ham: a Beaujolais red wine. For example, a Morgon , With pâté en crust: a white from the Southern Rhône or a Gamay from Beaujolais. For example, a Château-du-Pape or a Brouilly, There you go enjoy it and bon appétit !

Something not considered wine but we have tasted it as a digéstif or after meal drink at home is the Cognac ! It is great with a Cuban cigar ,but I do not smoke ! The stills are already heating up in the two Charentes, (CharenteMaritime 17 and Charente 16) where the distillation campaign begins almost a month in advance and where a possible shortage of natural gas is worrying winegrowers and traders (restrictions from October 15 due to war in Ukraine). They will be heating at full speed until March 31, 2023, the legal date of end of campaign. The harvest in the country of cognac, considered average a few days ago, will undoubtedly be a little higher than the 8.87 million hectoliters of white wines estimated at the beginning of September by Agreste, the official service of agricultural statistics. In the spring, the National Cognac Interprofessional Bureau (BNIC) alerted the public authorities to its specificities and its fragility. The wines to be distilled, without sulphur, are fragile. Power cuts would lead to an irremediable loss of raw material ! Arbitrations are expected in mid-October,2022 when the prefectures will draw up lists of large consumers likely to be offloaded or not. In the meantime, the stills are rising in temperature. The campaign starts fast and strong. The 222 million bottles shipped around the globe in 2021-2022 generated a turnover of 3.8 billion euros. Cognac is 98% exported. There are approximately 1,200 distillers (by vintage and profession) and 2,900 stills in the land of cognac. Year after year, they consume 560 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of natural gas and propane per year. The supply of natural gas is more delicate. Professional distillers connected to the GRDF network transform 55% of the Charente harvest. They “burn” about 350 GWh per campaign, or 0.07% of annual French consumption. The BNIC webpage :

There you go folks, another wine episode of my belle France! The wines of France that is, superbe, sublime, wonderful, gorgeous, enjoy without moderation but accompanying a meal, family table just perfect. See you in the vineyards of France.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all !!!

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